Armed Forces Day returns to Plymouth Hoe on Saturday 30 June with parades, displays and ‘villages’ showcasing the armed forces.
Over 75 charities and organisations will be represented in the Veterans’ Village, supported this year by military charity Help for Heroes, which helps the region’s wounded veterans and military personnel, and their loved ones, from its Recovery Centre in Devonport Naval Base.
Jock Easton, Help for Heroes’ Head of Recovery West, said: “Today, seven people will be medically discharged from the armed forces and their lives will change forever. We believe that those who have put their lives on the line for us deserve a second chance at life for them and their families. Help for Heroes is proud to get behind Armed Forces Day in Plymouth to encourage those with physical and mental health wounds who may be in need of support but have yet to reach out to come forward.”
Within the Veterans’ Village, located between the Naval Memorial and Citadel Road, visitors will be able to discover the support available to veterans and their families and learn more about the work of military charities and organisations, including Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion, Plymouth Veterans Breakfast Club, Improving Lives Plymouth and Blind Veterans UK amongst others.
Visitors will be able to see Help for Heroes’ 10-metre gig boat used by their World Championship gig rowing team, take a seat in a wheelchair rugby chair to discover sport from a different perspective and unleash their creative force in art activities.
Veteran Royal Marine Lee Spencer will share his story on the main stage and explain how he has been supported by Help for Heroes and other military charities. Having come through three tours of Afghanistan unscathed, Lee lost his right leg when he was hit by flying debris after stopping to help a motorist who had crashed into the central reservation on the M3 in 2014.
Deputy Council Leader Pete Smith said: “Plymouth Armed Forces Day lets us celebrate and show our support for the armed forces, past and present, which is incredibly important to us as a proud military city.
“The Veterans’ Village is not only a great opportunity for people to learn about the fascinating history of the military, but also for veterans and their families to discover the support available to them.”
All veterans are also invited to join the Parade of Standards, taking place at 11am across the Hoe Promenade. The parade will be led by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Plymouth.
Veterans and serving members of the forces can also take advantage of exclusive deals and discounts throughout the weekend. This includes free travel on Saturday 30 June on all Plymouth Citybus and Stagecoach services if travelling in uniform or on production of a veteran’s badge.